Justice Judy Clendening declared a mistrial in the second-degree murder trial of Evan Polchies after the jury was a not able to come to a unanimous decision on a verdict.
The decision came on Sunday morning after more than four days of deliberations and nine days of testimony.
Polchies was on trial in the shooting death of Bobby Martin Jr.
It was not disputed that Bobby Martin Jr. died in hospital after being shot twice by Evan Polchies at the Tamarack Estates mini-home park in Lincoln, near Fredericton. The jury had to decide whether Evan Polchies meant to kill Bobby Martin Jr. or had used the kind of force he knew would kill him when he shot him in the early hours of Jan. 26, 2017.
The defence argued Polchies acted in self-defence, alleging Martin attacked Polchies at the Tamarack Estates mini-home.
Polchies co-accused Joe-Anna Hachey (whose trial is in April) testified during the trial that she and Polchies lured Martin to the Tamarack Estates residence with the promise of buying cocaine from him and planned to rob him.
Evan Polchies disputed the testimony of Joe-Anna Hachey. He told the court that Bobby Martin Jr. came at him with a large hunting knife, so he defended himself by firing the two shots that proved deadly.
Polchies’ lawyer, TJ Burke, said his client was “disappointed, obviously” in Sunday’s decision.
“He wanted some conclusion to this matter, but we’re prepared to go back to trial and do it all over again,” he said.
He added that it was unusual for a jury to take this long to deliberate.
“I think juries in Fredericton are pretty conservative. They usually come back quickly with a decision. But this had a lot of exciting facts, different facts inside the case,” he said.
Polchies will return to court Feb. 5 for a motions hearing, at which time a new trial date could be set.